By Tim Sennitt | 2 months ago

Net Promoter Score is a blunt instrument: how you can sharpen your act

  • Banking
  • Finance
  • Customer Experience

More and more, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is becoming the ‘go-to’ customer satisfaction metric for banks and wealth managers.

It certainly has its uses. It’s relatively simple to capture at its core and gives a snapshot of how well (or how badly) you may be doing. To be truly meaningful, however, results really need to be compared to those of industry peers, a step frequently overlooked.

What’s more, NPS pretty much ignores the so-called ‘passive’ respondents – those deemed to be neither promoters nor detractors – whose experience is just as important as the rest, and whose future verdict could, go either way.

These aren’t the only problems. Often, NPS surveys are conducted too infrequently to give a sustained and accurate picture. And even if that’s not the case, many businesses aren’t able to react quickly enough to effect real change.

Anecdotally, there’s also evidence that Relationship Managers are able to ‘coach’ their clients to maximise chances of a positive response.

Can CES really provide a balance?

Meanwhile, Customer Effort Score (CES) is steadily gaining traction with CX teams.

Its incisive style of questioning (“How easy/hard was it to purchase your shares…?”) allows business to identify operational problems quickly.

While this transactional focus arguably makes CES best suited to the retail banking sphere, it’s no surprise to see the beginnings of a blended approach with NPS – where CES is used to quickly identify issues, which, once sorted, see a correlated upturn in NPS.

Is the real challenge being missed?

Whichever combination of approach to CX surveys is chosen, a balance has to be struck between generating useful insight and an organisation’s real ability to react operationally and deliver tangible change as a result.

Driving advocacy from within: a 360° approach

First developed by strategic communications agency OTM, Advocacy 360° provides a holistic framework of activity to help businesses to get the most from their 3rd party survey programme – be that NPS, CES or any other.

From insight to tangible change

Advocacy 360° enables a business to be equally focused on implementing the tangible outcomes based on insight – with the means to then demonstrate them positively, both internally and to clients – not just a focus on the process of measurement itself

4 Key Pillars

1. Applying the 360° philosophy

The approach is agile, mapped to the operating rhythm of your business and moves away from the typical linear approach to measurement that frequently stops at the survey results. Over time, it also helps identify and plug any gaps in CX measurement, and introduce further supporting programmes to ensure the insight, feedback and action process is much more robust and ‘joined-up’. These may include:

  • Relative NPS and benchmarking
  • Extra manual/tele surveys
  • Employee NPS survey
  • Internal campaigns to embed the brand

2. Harnessing insight to drive tangible change

In my experience, delivering and demonstrating tangible change is a far greater challenge than implementing an NPS or other CX measurement programme.

If this part of the process isn’t properly thought through, ‘New Initiative Syndrome’ can be the unintended consequence – with businesses making repeated changes and adjustments without a full explanation as to why, or how – not just the more typical, what.

Supporting external communications can then be designed to flow from this outwardly to clients, but providing the context and content around the changes is also essential internally.

3. Embedding brand values internally

With financial services brands keen to stand out from the crowd, it’s vital that insight is used to drive genuinely effective brand differentiation.

Bringing the brand to life internally ensures its meaning and promises are upheld at every conceivable client touchpoint, and at all levels of the organisation. This is particularly vital if behavioural change is required as a result of findings.

This can be achieved through internal brand campaigns that demonstrate clearly how clients (and just as importantly, your own people) have been listened to.

Partnership with a communications agency can help to fully embed the values of any new proposition, including how the brand must talk and act in its relationship with clients.

All this makes for better client experiences, which in turn is reflected in NPS.

4. Ongoing learning and support

In my work with financial services and investment firms, I’ve often found challenges in the way best practice, insight and, importantly, individual experiences are shared.

  • The ‘disconnect’ typically occurs at the joins between formal business training (particularly of Relationship Managers), the CX measurement programme itself, and internal communication about the brand.
  • However, this disconnect is also a ‘sweet-spot’, offering the business a chance to further embed its brand values, beyond the shorter-term operational changes that result from its CX measurement programme.
  • A tailored plan is therefore needed to ensure best practice is actively shared and, most importantly, acted upon.
  • Over time, internal content programmes can be developed to fill knowledge gaps and augment understanding. A combination of platforms can be used to achieve this, including online hubs, intranets, or third-party applications like Slack.

Two great opportunities exist:

  • See NPS (or similar CX measurement tools) in the round, supported by initiatives, ideas and smaller programmes that link the insight generated to tangible outcomes for the business, employees and clients
  • Harness the potential power of the internal audience by giving employees a clear sense of what your brand means to them and importantly, what the business now expects them to do with the information, creating better outcomes for clients and ultimately, a more positive impact on NPS